Amphibians of North Carolina
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sciNametaxonomic commentsfield marksvocalizationshabitatobservation methodspopulation ecologystatus commentsS rankG rankstate statusus status
Plethodon yonahlossee
Yonahlossee Salamander
A crevice-dwelling form of P. yonahlossee that occurs in or near the vicinity of Bat Cave and Chimney Rock in western North Carolina was described by Adler and Dennis (1962) as a separate speci.........Plethodon yonahlossee is typically found in mesic deciduous forests in mountainous terrain at elevations of 436-1737 m (1430-5699'). Martof et al. (1980) noted that this species is often locall...Individuals are active on the ground surface at night and can be found by turning stones and large logs on the forest floor. ......The Yonahlossee Salamander can be locally abundant in optimal habitats, but is generally less abundant than other large Plethodon species (Hicks and Pearson 2003, Petranka and Murray 2001). It ...S4G4
Eurycea wilderae
Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander
Eurycea wilderae is a member of the Eurycea bislineata species complex, which includes a group of stream-breeding salamanders that are found in eastern North America, many of which are r.........The adults breed in running water and use habitats that range from small fish-free headwater streams to intermediate-sized streams that support predatory fish. Headwater streams and other small strea...The larvae are most easily found by searching small pools in headwater streams, or by using kick nets in larger streams. The terrestrial juveniles and adults can be found beneath cover objects during .........S5G5
Desmognathus organi
Northern Pygmy Salamander
Prior to 2010, populations of a a tiny Desmognathus species that has a reddish brown to coppery bronze dorsal stripe with a dark herringbone pattern down its center constituted a single species.........Desmognathus organi is most commonly found in forests above 3600' (1100 m) in the southern Appalachians (Crespi et al. 2010), including the Black Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, and Roan Mount...Individuals can be collected by turning woody debris on the forest floor. They are active on the ground surface during periods of wet or rainy weather and can often be observed climbing on low vegetat...In southwestern Virginia, the males become sexually mature when about 3.5-years old and > 24 mm SVL. The females become sexually mature when 4.5-years old and first oviposit when 5-years old (Organ 19......S2S3G3SR
Desmognathus orestes
Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander
Members of the genus Desmognathus are commonly known as dusky salamanders because of their overall dark brown or dusky ground color. Like many plethodontid salamanders, they have proven to be a.........This and other members of the D. ochrophaeus complex that occur in western North Carolina are associated with montane hardwoods with cool, clear-flowing headwater streams and seepages (Petranka.........Desmognathus orestes is a common species at moderate to higher elevations in western North Carolina and is in minimal need of protection. ...S3S4G4
Desmognathus monticola
Seal Salamander
Members of the genus Desmognathus are commonly known as dusky salamanders because of their overall dark brown or dusky ground color. Like many plethodontid salamanders, they have proven to be a.........This is a semi-terrestrial species that is most commonly found in or adjoining small to moderate-sized, rocky streams and their associated seepages. They tend to be restricted to streams with well ae............S5G5
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Desmognathus marmoratus
Shovel-nosed Salamander
Members of the genus Desmognathus are commonly known as dusky salamanders because of their overall dark brown or dusky ground color. Like many plethodontid salamanders, they have proven to be a.........The Shovel-nosed Salamander is an aquatic or semi-aquatic species that prefers cool, well oxygenated streams at elevations of 300-1680 m (980-5,500'). This species is generally more common in second a............S4G4
Lithobates virgatipes
Carpenter Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The males produce several types of vocalizations that include the advertisement call, single-note and multi-note aggressive calls, a growl that is given when fighting, and a release call. The most fam...This is a mostly aquatic species that lives in or around the margins of coastal wetlands. The adults and juveniles are often found in acidic, brown water or blackwater wetlands such as pocosins, sphag...Carpenter Frogs are difficult to find by direct searches and are most easily documented by listening for the distinctive advertisement calls during the spring and summer months. Calling mostly occurs ...Information on local population sizes and population organization is largely lacking. The extent to which the young metamorphs or adults move between sites is poorly documented, but the movement of ad...The status of populations in North Carolina has been difficult to determine due to issues with accurately monitoring populations. Resurveys of known historical populations in Maryland, New Jersey, Vi...S4G4
Lithobates sphenocephalus
Southern Leopard Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The advertisement call is distinctive, but rather complex and difficult to describe. It generally consists of one or more rapid sequences of 2-6 guttural notes or clucks ('ah-ah-ah-ah' or 'aka-aka-aka...The juveniles and adults are typically found in mesic settings, and often in landscapes that have clusters of wetlands of various hydroperiods that are embedded within forests (Dodd 2013). They can us...Individuals can be found calling at the breeding sites and moving across roads on rainy nights. Searching areas in or near the shorelines of ponds or other wetlands can be productive. ...Very limited information is available on population structure and population interconnectivity across the landscape. The adults are known to move long distances from the breeding sites and often quick...The southern Leopard Frog tolerates landscape disturbances relatively well and its use of artificial aquatic habitats has allowed it to adapted to human-altered landscapes. Although this species has b...S5S5
Lithobates sylvaticus
Wood Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The advertisement call can be a simple, deep 'cluck' or a more drawn out and raspy sounding ‘craw-awauk' or 'craw-aw-auk.' These are usually issued individually with a pause of 3-6 seconds or so befor...The Wood Frog uses a variety of habitats across its range, including Alaskan tundra, subalpine woodlands, willow and alder thickets, wet meadows, bogs, and temperate forests (AmphibiaWeb 2022, Dodd 20...The juveniles and adults are secretive and are rarely encountered outside of the breeding season. The adults are most easily observed when calling and mating at the breeding sites during late winter. ...The sizes of local breeding populations often fluctuate markedly across years, which reflects fluctuations in juvenile recruitment from year to year. It is not uncommon for local pond populations to c...Populations have likely declined historically in North Carolina due to the widespread loss of seasonal wetlands such as vernal ponds, floodplain pools, fens, and marshes. These were at one time common...S5S5
Lithobates palustris
Pickerel Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The males produce several types of vocalizations, including an advertisement call and two additional calls associated with aggressive interactions with other males (Given 2005). The advertisement call...The Pickerel Frog is generally associated with forested landscapes with appropriate breeding sites, but can also be found in areas with a mosaic of forested and non-forested patches such as meadows or...The juveniles and adults are sometimes encountered while crossing roads on rainy nights, while the calling males can be heard during the spring warm-up and early summer. Individuals are occasionally f...We know very little about local population sizes or population structure for this species. The Pickerel Frog tends to be spottily distributed in many areas of its range. It is often underrepresented i...This species appears to be relatively common in North Carolina compared to many areas of the range. There is no evidence of significant population declines in recent years. ...S5S5
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Lithobates kauffeldi
Mid-Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The call is a single-noted, unpulsed ‘chuck’ that is distinct from the pulsed ‘ak-ak-ak’ of L. sphenocephalus. The ‘chuck’ call is typically emitted in evenly spaced, repeated series that can i...Lithobates kauffeldi is mostly restricted to large coastal and riparian wetlands. Feinberg et al. (2014) described this species as inhabiting mesic lowland habitats that primarily include coast...Observations are best made by searching for calling males during warm, rainy periods in February and March....We know very little about the population dynamics or ecology of this species. The adults are terrestrial, but the extent to which the juveniles and adults migrate to the surrounding uplands is undocum...Schlesinger et al. (2018) considered populations to be secure in the core of the range (New Jersey; Delaware; Virginia) where there appear to be many apparently large populations in protected wetlands...S3G3G4W3
Lithobates heckscheri
River Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The advertisement call has been described as being a loud, distinctive snore or deep growl that last a second or two. It is often repeated several times in sequence with a brief gap in time between gr...The River Frog is a semiaquatic species that is associated with Coastal Plain streams and rivers and standing water habitats. It can be found along the margins of sluggish sections of rivers and strea...The adults can be found by searching the margins of wetlands and looking for individuals that are near shorelines. Searching for the conspicuous schooling tadpoles may be the best way to document loca...Very little is known about the sizes of local populations or genetic population structure. Given that this species may breed in rivers and creeks and connected wetlands, it is possible that the speci...The River Frog appears to still be common in Florida and Georgia (Krysko et al., 2019, Jensen et al. 2008), but has declined near the periphery of the range. The last museum-vouchered specimen for Mis...SXG5E
Lithobates clamitans
Green Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The males produce several types of calls, with the advertisement call the most well recognized one. It may consists of a single note that resembles a deep "c'tung" or a rapid sequence that has 2-7 not...Lithobates clamitans is a semiaquatic species that generally stays close to bodies of water that are used for foraging, breeding, and overwintering. The juveniles and adults use all sorts of aq...Green frogs are most easily observed by walking the margins of wetlands or searching roads on rainy nights. Their distinctive advertisement call is readily heard around breeding sites during the summe...Green Frog populations are probably not organized as metapopulations either locally or regionally given their ability to disperse long distances and their lack of strong habitat fidelity (Smith and Gr...This is one of the most common frogs in North Carolina and it tolerates habitat disturbance and alteration better than most species. Populations often occur on timbered landscapes so long as breeding ...S5G5
Lithobates catesbeianus
American Bullfrog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The juveniles and adults produce a variety of vocalizations, the most familiar being the advertisement call of the male that consists of deep groans that are commonly repeated in sequences of 3-5 or m...The American Bullfrog is a semiaquatic species that spends much of its time during the warmer months of the year in the immediate vicinity of bodies of water. Individuals frequently feed and rest eith...The juveniles and adults are commonly found in or around permanent bodies of water, particularly those with emergent or floating vegetation and vegetated shallows. They are commonly seen on roads duri...Data on population structure and local population sizes are scant. The juveniles and adults are capable of dispersing long distances from breeding sites, which hampers the ability to identify populati...Populations appear to be stable in North Carolina and show no evidence of long-term declines. ...S5G5
Lithobates capito
Gopher Frog
Frost et al. (2006) placed species in North American that were formerly in the very large genus Rana into a separate genus, Lithobates, to distinguish them from a large and predominantly......The advertisement call of L. capito has been described as a deep snore or prolonged groan that last about two seconds. Individuals may pause for a second or two before issuing another call. ...The Gopher Frog thrives in fire-maintained sandhills or flatwoods that are dominated by Longleaf Pine or Turkey Oak-pine associations. In Florida they can also be found in other upland habitats such a...Individuals are best found by searching for calling males. ...The number of adults that appear annually at local breeding sites is often very small and many populations appear to be maintained by using clusters of local ponds. At the Savannah River Site, no more...Populations of the Coastal Plain clade that was recognized Richter et al. (2014) have suffered major declines with very few populations remaining in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. As of 2018, O...S2G2G3E
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Gastrophryne carolinensis
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) and Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (G. olivacea) were once treated as subspecies of a single species but are now treated as separate ......The males emit a buzzy or bleating "waaaa" call that is one of the most nasally songs of any of our native frogs. The characteristics of the call vary with temperature, but each "waaaa" typically last...The juveniles and adults are generalists that can be found in a wide variety of habitats that range from wet or mesic environs to relatively dry upland forests. Individuals can quickly desiccate if ex...The adults tend to be secretive and are most easily observed when at the breeding sites at night. They can occasionally be found on roads during rainy weather and are sometimes uncovered beneath board...Local populations are centered around the breeding sites, which may contain one or more local ponds. Successful reproduction in this species tends to be episodic, with premature pond drying often resu...Gastrophryne carolinensis is widespread and relatively abundant in North Carolina and there is no evidence of ongoing widespread population declines. ...S5G5
Pseudacris ornata
Ornate Chorus Frog
Degner et al. (2010) analyzed mtDNA variation and recognized three clades that occur across the geographic range of this species. These include a northern clade in North Carolina, a central clade from......The advertisement call is a very sharp metallic 'kik' that is produced in long, equally spaced repetitive sequences: “kik-kik-kik-kik-kik-kik.” Some have described it as resembling the call of a Spri...The juveniles and adults are primarily found in the pine flatwoods, pine barrens and sandhills of the southeastern Coastal Plain. They also can be found in xeric hardwood hammocks, as well as more mes...The adults are secretive and are best observed during the breeding season when they are at the breeding sites. They can occasionally be found crossing roads on rainy nights. ...Local populations are centered around the breeding sites, and most populations appear to consist of several hundred adults or less when averaged across several years. Gerhardt (1973) noted that the ma...Populations in North Carolina appear to have declined significantly in recent decades due to the loss or degradation of seasonal wetlands and forest management practices. This species is in need of pr...S2G4E
Pseudacris ocularis
Little Grass Frog
Pseudacris ocularis has been placed in several genera over the years, including Hyla and Limnaeodus, but more recent molecular studies place it with other Pseudacris specie......The call of P. ocularis is a faint, very high-pitched, repetitive insect-like “ts-r-e-ek” or “s’lick” that Harper (1939b) described as resembling tinkling beads. Blair (1958a) noted that the d...The Little Grass Frog appears to rarely move far from its breeding sites, although it is possible that individuals leave very shallow seasonal ponds that dry and become inhospitable. They can be found...The adults are most easily observed by finding calling males as the breeding sites or searching grassy vegetation around pond and swamp margins during the day or night. ...Very little is known about the population biology of this species. Local populations probably consist of a few dozen to many hundreds of adults. Some of the older accounts (Harper 1939b, Wright 1932)...Populations in North Carolina show no evidence of widespread declines in recent decades and appear to be stable. ...S5G5
Pseudacris feriarum
Upland Chorus Frog
Pseudacris ferianum is a member of the trilling chorus frog group, which is a complex of species that have had a confusing taxonomic history. Lemmon et al. (2007) conducted a comprehensive mol......The advertisement calls consist of slow trills, sounding like a "crreeek" that has been likened to running one's finger along the tines of a pocket comb. Since each such call is frequency modulated, ...The adults are strongly affiliated with moist deciduous forests. Bottomland forests, swamp forests, or mesic hardwoods are used by the adults outside of the breeding season. Breeding typically occurs ...The adults are most easily observed as they call during the day and night from seasonal wetlands. They are also commonly encountered on rainy nights during the breeding season. ...The Upland Chorus Frog is organized as small local populations that are centered around local breeding sites. We have little data on population organization in this species. The juveniles appear capab...Populations in North Carolina do not show any evidence of recent widespread declines and appear to be stable. ...S5G5
Pseudacris crucifer
Spring Peeper
Herpetologists previously recognized two subspecies of the Spring Peeper that comprised northern (Pseudacris c. crucifer) and southern (P. c. bartramiana) groups, but molecular evidence ......The advertising call is a familiar sound to most naturalists in eastern North America and consists of a high-pitched whistle or peep, with each peep ascending in pitch and lasting about one-fifth of a...The juveniles and adults live in forested habitats that have breeding sites that are either in the forests or in open areas close to forests. Given their broad geographic range, the adults use terrest...The calling adults are a familiar sound during the spring warm-up and provide an easy way to document local populations. Adults can frequently be found on rainy nights moving to and from the breeding ...Local populations of the Spring Peeper can vary from a few dozen individuals at small breeding sites to a thousand or more at larger sites. We have very little data on dispersal distances or the exten...Pseudacris crucifer is common and populations appear to be stable in most portions of the species range. Dodd (2013) noted that populations appear to be declining in some northeastern states, b...S5G5
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Pseudacris collinsorum
Collinses' Mountain Chorus Frog
Until recently, the Mountain Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brachyphona) was treated as a single species that ranged from mountainous regions of eastern Kentucky, southeastern Ohio, and western West V......The advertisement call is a series of short, nasally 'wreaks' that are repeated over and over and issued about every second or so depending on the prevailing temperature. The call is distinctive and ...Local populations are often found near the interfaces of forested and more open habitats such as agricultural fields or roadways. Although breeding often occurs on deforested land that is rather dista...Local populations are most readily detected by riding roads on warm, rainy nights to search for migrating adults, or by listening for calling males during the breeding season. The small egg masses can......Populations in North Carolina show no evidence of widespread population declines and appear to be stable. ...S2G2SC
Hyla versicolor
Gray Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......The advertisement call is a very loud slow trill. The trill of this species is lower pitched and occurs at a slower pulse rate (17–35 notes/sec) than that of H. versicolor (34–69 notes per seco...This highly arboreal species is most commonly associated with deciduous hardwood forests where it blends in well with tree limbs in the forest canopy. Its habit preferences overlap strongly with that ...Individuals are most easily observed around the breeding sites at night during rainy weather. They are also commonly seen crossing roads on rainy nights as they move to and from the breeding sites. ...Local breeding populations often consist of only a few hundred adults or less (Dodd 2013). Where clusters of local ponds occur locally substantial gene flow likely occurs due to dispersal of juveniles...Regional populations of this species appear to be stable, with no evidence of decline at a landscape scale (Dodd 2013). The status of populations in North Carolina is largely unknown. Populations here...S2G5SC
Hyla squirella
Squirrel Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......The males produce two common vocalizations -- the “rain call” or "tree call" that is made from trees during the day -- and the advertisement call that is made from the breeding sites at night. The ad...Except during the breeding season, the adults are commonly found in moist, forested habitats that are somewhat open. They have also adapted well to human-altered landscapes where breeding sites remain...The adults are commonly seen around the margins of wetlands during the breeding season, and can be found crossing roads on rainy nights. They are frequently seen around homes, buildings, and landscape...Local populations are centered around the breeding sites and may consist of a dozen or two adults at very small, isolated breeding sites to many hundreds of individuals where clusters of ponds are use...The Squirrel Treefrog is widespread and often locally common in coastal regions of North Carolina, and appears to have expanded its range in the Piedmont. Populations show no evidence on widespread de...S5G5
Hyla gratiosa
Barking Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......The males have two distinctive calls. One is the "tree call" that is issued from trees or bushes during the day and often following rains (Neill 1958, Wright 1932). It has been described by Neill (19...Hyla gratiosa is found in a variety of Coastal Plain and inland habitats, including mixed pine-deciduous forests, pine flatwoods, longleaf pine sandhills, xeric hammock, and basin and depressio...Barking Treefrogs are most easily observed after dusk when they are at the breeding sites, particularly following afternoon thunderstorms or on warm, rainy nights. They can also be found crossing road...We know very little about the population ecology of this species. Attempts to determine the sizes of local populations have been hampered by the fact that the adults regularly trespass over drift fenc...Populations in North Carolina appear to be stable in most areas. We have several historical records for counties in the central Coastal Plain near the northern limit of the range in North Carolina, bu...S4G5
Hyla femoralis
Pine Woods Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......Dodd (2013) noted that the males have two distinctive calls. One is made from the trees and occurs throughout the warm activity season, while the other is a more typical male advertisement call that i...the Pine Woods Treefrog is strongly associated with southern pine forests of the Coastal Plain, but also can be found in mixed pine-hardwood associations. Although this species typically uses pine for...The adults are best found by seeking calling males at the breeding sites or by riding roads on rainy night. ...Local populations are centered around the breeding sites. Estimates of local population sizes are largely lacking because the adults easily trespass across drift fences that are used to capture many a...Despite widespread historical losses due to the loss or degradation of wetlands and the loss of previously forested areas in the Coastal Plain, H. femoralis show no evidence of marked ongoing d...S5G5
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Hyla cinerea
Green Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......Breeding males have an advertisement call that resembles a nasal "queenk" "queenk" "queenk" or "quonk" "quonk" "quonk" that is repeated around 60-80 times per minute in the field. If a subordinate mal...The adults are commonly found in or around permanent or semipermanent bodies of water and spend much of the year along the margins of the breeding sites. Outside of the breeding season they frequent n...Green Treefrogs are most commonly heard and observed along the vegetation-choked margins of ponds, marshes, and lakes. They can also be found crossing roads on rainy nights and are commonly seen aroun...Very little is known about the population biology of this species. Local populations can vary from a dozen or so to thousands of adults. Carr (1940), for example, noted that choruses may continue unbr...Hyla cinerea is a widespread and abundant species, and the range is expanding in several areas (Dodd 2013). This species seem to tolerate disturbed and habitat fragmentation reasonably well and...S5G5
Hyla chrysoscelis
Cope's Gray Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......The advertisement call is a loud fast trill. The trill of this species is higher pitched and occurs at a faster pulse rate (34–69 notes per second) than that of H. versicolor (17–35 notes/sec)....This highly arboreal species is most commonly associated with deciduous hardwood forests where it blends in well with tree limbs in the forest canopy. Populations in the upper Midwest at the western e...Individuals are most easily observed around the breeding sites on nights following afternoon thunderstorms or other rain events. They are also commonly seen on roads on rainy nights, and around homes ...Most local populations appear to consist of no more than a few hundred adults, and often times far fewer. Ritke et al. (1991) marked adult frogs that breed a cluster of ponds in western Tennessee and ...Populations of (H. chrysoscelis) show no evidence of marked declines in North Carolina and appear to tolerate habitat fragmentation and urbanization reasonably well so long as tracts of deciduo...S5G5
Hyla andersonii
Pine Barrens Treefrog
Duellman et al. (2016) elected to split treefrogs in the genus Hyla into two genera. Hyla (sensu stricto) refers to a group of species that are found in Eurasia, while a new genus Dr......The advertisement call of the Pine Barrens Treefrog is very similar to that of the Green Treefrog. The call has been described in various ways (Dodd 2013, Noble and Noble 1923), but is perhaps best re...Hyla andersonii has rather specialized habitat requirements. It is generally associated with pocosins, acid bogs, shrub bogs, and seepage areas that are surrounded by sandy habitats and have cl...Adults are most easily observed during the breeding season when the males are calling. ...Local populations are often small (e.g., Sorrow 1982), which reflects the small size of many seepages and bog ponds that are used as breeding sites. Moler (1981) noted that fewer than a dozen males ca...H. andersonii is an IUCN Red List near-threatened species and is considered to be at risk of decline because of habitat loss (IUCN 2016). It is also listed as imperiled in Florida, threatened i...S2G4T
Acris gryllus
Southern Cricket Frog
Acris is a genus of small hylid frogs that is endemic to North America. Two species have traditionally been recognized, each with formally recognized subspecies. Acris gryllus is a south......The songs of both of our species of cricket frogs consist of a series of clicks, often described as "gick" "gick" "gick" and likened to pebbles, marbles, or ball-bearings being struck together. There ...Acris gryllus it typically found in the vicinity of permanent or temporary wetlands such as wet prairies, seepage bogs, sloughs, canals, sawgrass prairies, grassy meadows, Carolina bays, farm p......Local populations often consist of a few hundred to many hundreds of individuals, particularly along small lakes or other large wetlands (Dodd 2013). Wright (1932) considered this species to be the mo...Although long considered common and abundant in the North Carolina, declines have recently been detected in the northern half of the upper Coastal Plain, with populations apparently no longer present ...S5G5
Acris crepitans
Eastern Cricket Frog
Acris is a genus of small hylid frogs that is endemic to North America. Two species have traditionally been recognized, each with formally recognized subspecies. Acris gryllus is a south......To the human ear, the advertisement call consists of a series of clicks in which the interval between clicks decreases with time and often ends in a rapid, rattling sequence at the end. The individual...The adults and juveniles are typically found in the immediate vicinity of semipermanent and permanent wetlands during the warmer months of the year. They generally prefer sunny or lightly shaded habit...Cricket frogs are most easily seen by walking the margins of permanent aquatic habitats such as ponds, freshwater marshes or the shallow sections of small lakes. They often respond to approaching huma...Local populations often consist of hundreds of adults. One population along a 150 m transect in New York was estimated to consists of 628 frogs (range 343-1,681), while a second in the Florida Panhand...Acris crepitans has declined in some areas of its range (Micancin et al. 2012), but populations appear to be relatively stable in North Carolina. We have several older records from the western ...S5G5
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Scaphiopus holbrookii
Eastern Spadefoot
......The males have a distinctive loud, harsh, nasally call that is difficult to describe. It has been likened to the second syllable in a long drawn-out meow of a Siamese cat (“owww, owww”) or the “waagh...The juveniles and adults are found in a wide assortment of terrestrial habitats, the key being the presence of friable soils that allow individuals to dig with the hind legs and bury themselves. Sites...The adults spend most of their time in underground burrows and are best found by either driving roads on rainy nights or listening for calling males during bouts of heavy rainfall. ...Information on the population biology of this species has been difficult to obtain because of the erratic nature of breeding and difficulty of collecting adults due to their fossorial habits. Local po...The status of the Eastern Spadefoot has proven challenging to assess because the adults are rarely observed on the ground surface and the breeding bouts often last only a day or two (Gibson and Anthon...S5G5
Anaxyrus quercicus
Oak Toad
......The advertising call consists of a series of high-pitched continuous peeps that sounds like a baby chick peeping, with about 2-3 peeps per second. ...Anaxyrus quercicus has a biphasic life cycle and requires both suitable wetlands for breeding and terrestrial habitats for the juveniles and adults. The juveniles and adults typically live in d...The adults are diurnally active and can be found within a hundred meters or so of the breeding ponds. The easiest way to document local populations is to listen for calling males following heavy summe...Factors that regulate local population sizes are poorly resolved. Oak toads often exploit small wetlands and local breeding populations commonly consist of fewer than 100-150 individuals (e.g., Greenb......S2G5SR
Anaxyrus terrestris
Southern Toad
The Southern Toad occasionally hybridizes with several other species of toads, including Fowler's Toad and the American Toad. This typically happens when a male amplexes a female of an opposing specie......The male's advertisement call is a loud and melodic trill that typically lasts for 4-9 seconds. It is then repeated after a short pause. The call resembling that of the American Toad but is shorter in...The juveniles and adults can be found in a wide range of terrestrial habitats so long as suitable breeding sites are nearby. They are commonly found in sandy habitats where they can escape physiologic...Individuals are commonly found on roads at night during rainy weather and can be heard calling from the breeding sites. ...Local populations are often rather large and may exceed 500-1000 adults where larger breeding sites or cluster of breeding ponds are present (Dodd 2013). Factors that regulate local populations are po......S5G5
Anaxyrus fowleri
Fowler's Toad
Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) and Woodhouse's Toad (A. woodhousii) were previously considered to be subspecies of a single species, but Masta et al. (2002) provided evidence based on ......Males produce a loud explosive advertisement call that sounds like “waaaah” and lasts for about two or three seconds. These are produced in long series, with each interrupted by a pause that typically...The juveniles and adults generally prefer open habitats with friable soils that allow them to dig to avoid physiologically stressful conditions. Sites with sandy or sandy-loam soils and nearby breedin...Fowler's Toad can be found on rainy or warm nights on roadways and is sometimes attracted to building and street lights where individuals feed on insects. Adults can be observed at the breeding ponds ...Local populations can vary in size from a few individuals to several thousand adults (Breden 1988, Ferguson 1960, Ferguson and Landreth 1966, Green 1997). Population size often varies substantially ac...Fowler's Toad is common in the Piedmont of North Carolina (e.g., Gooch et al. 2006), but is uncommon and spottily distributed at lower elevations in the mountains. Populations appear to have declined ...S5G5
Anaxyrus americanus
American Toad
Three subspecies of the American Toad have been recognized by some authorities that reflect phenotypic variation in color pattern, spotting, the extent of ventral pigmentation, and size (Dodd 2013). T......The advertisement call is a high-pitched trill that typically last around 6–12 seconds (range = 1-19 seconds). A given male will often pause for 20-30 seconds or more before issuing another call. Call...The American Toad occurs in a variety of habitats throughout its range, but shows a general preference for open, deciduous forests. Local populations often use grasslands in the upper Midwest, and can...The juveniles and adults are most active at night and are frequently found on roads during or following rains. Individuals sometimes feed around building lights at night, and the calling adults can be...Factors that regulate local populations are poorly known. Sexual competition among males for limited females may play a part, and density-dependent growth and survival during the larval stage is undou...This species appears to be secure within the state. Despite the widespread loss of natural habitats, American Toads have adapted well to using constructed farm ponds, reservoirs, and water features in...S5G5
sciNametaxonomic commentsfield marksvocalizationshabitatobservation methodspopulation ecologystatus commentsS rankG rankstate statusus status
Notophthalmus viridescens
Eastern Newt
The Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) is a very wide-ranging species that exhibits geographic variation in size and color patterning. Four subspecies are currently recognized (Mecham 196.........This very widely distributed salamander inhabits plant communities ranging from northern boreal forests to coastal pine savannas and subtropical forests (Petranka 1998). Most populations have biphasic......Local populations of the Eastern Newt are often organized as metapopulations. A metapopulation is a regional group of local populations that are connected by the movement of individuals between popula...The Eastern Newt is common throughout much of eastern North America, including North Carolina. Because it can tolerate fish, many populations have become established in constructed ponds and reservoir...S5G5
Aneides caryaensis
Hickory Nut Gorge Green Salamander
Populations of a crevice-dwelling greenish salamander with a flattened body, long legs, and squared toe tips have traditionally been treated as a single species, the Green Salamander (Aneides aeneu.........Williams et al. (2020) conducted a multiyear survey of A. aeneus and A. caryaensis in North Carolina and made only 12 observations of adult A. caryaensis, versus several hundred o............S1G1E
Aneides aeneus
Green Salamander
Populations of a crevice-dwelling greenish salamander with a flattened body, long legs, and squared toe tips have traditionally been treated as a single species, the Green Salamander (Aneides aeneu.........The Green Salamander inhabits cliffs and rock faces with deep crevices that provide shelter and nesting sites. Populations are most frequently encountered in sandstone, granite, and schist formations ......Conservation biologists still have much to learn about forest habitat use and metapopulation organization in this species. Many regional populations show evidence of metapopulation organization with s......S2S3G3G4T
Necturus punctatus
Dwarf Waterdog
No subspecies are currently recognized. Ashton et al. (1980) and Guttman et al. (1990) found that N. punctatus is genetically distinct from other Necturus is the Southeast and is most cl.........The Dwarf Waterdog is strictly aquatic and is most commonly found in smaller streams. Specimens have primarily been collected from deeper sections of streams that are sluggish and have accumulations o...Individuals are most easily collected by dipnetting through leaf beds or other bottom debris, particularly during the cooler months of the year. ...We have much to learn about the population biology of this species. We know very little, for example, about the sizes of local populations, mechanisms that set limits on local population size, and gen...Braswell and Ashton (1985) collected N. punctatus at 54 of 361 sites sampled in North Carolina and concluded that viable populations occur in most areas of the range. A comprehensive survey has...S5G5
Necturus lewisi
Neuse River Waterdog
Necturus lewisi was originally described by Brimley (1924) as a subspecies of N. maculosus, but has been recognized since 1937 as a valid species. Electrophoretic and chromosomal compari.........Braswell and Ashton (1985) found that populations in the Piedmont Plateau and along the Fall Line were most likely to be encountered in clean, moderate to swift flowing streams with widths over 15.5 m.........Resurveys of N. lewisi since Braswell and Ashton's (1985) comprehensive study show that this species has experienced significant and widespread declines throughout its range. The most notably a...S2G2SCT
sciNametaxonomic commentsfield marksvocalizationshabitatobservation methodspopulation ecologystatus commentsS rankG rankstate statusus status
Siren lacertina
Greater Siren
Villela and Brandon (1992) reported that museum specimens from northern Mexico and southern Texas that were previously identified as Siren intermedia more closely fit the description of S. l......The Greater Siren makes clicking or yelping noises similar to those of S. intermedia that may function in intraspecific communication (Carr 1940, Gehlbach and Walker 1970). The exact function o...Siren lacertina is most commonly found in permanent or semipermanent aquatic habitats that have dense aquatic vegetation and soft substrates such as organic muck that allows burrowing. Much lik......Factors that regulate local populations are poorly resolved. Local populations can reach high densities and territoriality as seen in S. intermedia (Reinhard et al. 2014) could limit adult pop......S3G5W3
Siren intermedia
Lesser Siren
Populations that have been assigned to Siren intermedia constitute a geographically variable group. They extend from Virginia mostly along the Coastal Plain to as far south as southern Texas an......Individuals often produce clicking and yelping sounds that may in part play a role in defending burrows (Petranka 1998). Gehlbach and Walker (1970) found that Texas specimens make clicking sounds shor...The Lesser Siren can be found in a variety of permanent or semipermanent habitats, particularly those with dense aquatic vegetation and deep, loose bottom sediments that allow the animals to burrow. ...Individuals are most often collected by dip-netting, electroshocking, or using minnow or crayfish traps. ...The densities and biomasses that this species reaches in optimal habitats is remarkably high. Gehlbach and Kennedy (1978) estimated the density and biomass of sirens in optimal habitats in a Texas pon......S4G5
Amphiuma means
Two-toed Amphiuma
......The Two-toed Amphiuma produces sounds that consist of low-, mid-, and high-frequency clicks. These appear to only be produced when they are near other individuals, and individuals are capable of detec...This species is strongly affiliated with permanent or semipermanent aquatic habitats. It can be found in swamps, ponds, sloughs, abandoned rice fields, slow-moving streams, flooded ditches, semiperman...Specimens are most easily collected by dipnetting, seining, or trapping with turtle, minnow, and commercial crayfish traps. Johnson and Barichivich (2004) found that commercially available crayfish fu...Factors that regulate local populations are poorly understood. Individuals can deliver a powerful bite, but it is uncertain if they are territorial or aggressively defend their burrows from conspecifi...The status of this species in North Carolina is uncertain because of the difficulty of monitoring this secretive, aquatic species. Many of our records are based on the occasional capture of single ind...S4G5
Pseudotriton ruber
Red Salamander
The Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) is a relatively large, stout, reddish salamander with a short tail and short legs. This species can be found throughout a large portion of the eastern US.........Populations are most commonly found in hardwood forests with a perennial source of running water. The larval period last for more than a year and breeding sites such as small headwater streams, seepag...The larvae can be found by dip-netting or searching cover in small headwater streams and seepages. The adults are commonly encountered crossing roads during rainy nights during the fall and spring mon.........S5G5
Plethodon welleri
Weller's Salamander
Plethodon welleri consists of several geographically isolated groups that are largely confined to higher-elevation peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Populations on Grandfather Mountain have l.........Populations have been found in both mesic hardwood forests and spruce-fir forests. Most populations appear to be isolated mountaintop relicts of an ancestral form that was more widespread. These are s...Individuals can be found beneath surface cover during the day and foraging on the surface on warm, moist nights during the summer months. .........S2G3SC
sciNametaxonomic commentsfield marksvocalizationshabitatobservation methodspopulation ecologystatus commentsS rankG rankstate statusus status
Plethodon teyahalee
Southern Appalachian Salamander
A group of wide-ranging large Plethodon species in the eastern US with a blackish ground color and varying levels of whitish or golden flecking, blotching, and spotting have traditionally been .........The Southern Appalachian Salamander is found in mesic deciduous forests. Optimal habitats are mature stands with a deep leaf litter layer, deep, moist soils, and ample amounts of bark, rotting logs, a...The adult are active on the ground surface at night except during very dry conditions. They can be found beneath surface cover during the day. .........S4G4
Plethodon shermani
Red-legged Salamander
.........The Red-legged Salamander is found in mesic hardwood forests that occur at mid- to higher elevations in the southern Appalachians. Local populations reach their highest densities in mature forest sta...The adults forage outside of cover at night and can be found underneath logs and other cover objects during the day. ...Populations of members of the P. jordani complex generally tend to be stable through time and likely reflect density-dependent regulation associated with territoriality (Hairston 1987). The adu...Local populations are sensitive to intensive timber practices but generally recover within a few decades. This species is locally abundant throughout its range and appear to be in minimal need of prot...S3S4G3W2
Plethodon serratus
Southern Red-backed Salamander
Populations of a wide-ranging and geographically variable small Plethodon with a reddish dorsal stripe were traditionally thought to comprise a single polytypic species, the Red-backed Salamand.........Populations in North Carolina and other areas within the range of the eastern isolate are typically found in mesic hardwood or mixed hardwood-conifer forests. Camp (1986) reported that mature hardwood...Individuals can be found beneath cover objects during the day during the cooler months of the year, and foraging at night during bouts of relatively warm, wet weather....Mechanisms that regulate local population size are poorly documented, but Mathis et al. (1998) found that resident adults from a Missouri population showed behaviors that are consistent with being ter......S4G5
Plethodon montanus
Northern Gray-cheeked Salamander
The Plethodon jordani complex is a group of closely related forms that mostly are found at higher elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Because they are largely restricted to mid t.........In North Carolina, Plethodon montanus lives in mesic hardwood forests and spruce-fir forests at mid to higher elevations in the Blue Ridge. Mature forests with a thick leaf litter layer and abu...Individuals are best observed the first few hours after dark when they are foraging on the forest floor. They can be found beneath bark, rotting logs, and other surface objects during the day. ...Populations of members of the P. jordani complex in mature forests generally tend to be stable through time and likely reflect density-dependent regulation associated with territoriality (Hairs...The Northern Gray-cheeked Salamander is widespread and locally abundant throughout its range and is in minimal need of protection. ...S5G4
Plethodon metcalfi
Southern Gray-cheeked Salamander
The Plethodon jordani complex is a group of closely related forms that mostly are found at higher elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Because they are largely restricted to mid t.........Plethodon metcalfi can be found in mesic hardwood forests and spruce-fir forests in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina, and in rich woods in the Blue Ridge escarpment and adjoining upper Piedmont...The adults can be easily observed on summer nights when they feed on the forest floor. They can also be collected during the day beneath logs, stones and other cover objects. ...Populations of members of the P. jordani complex generally tend to be stable through time and likely reflect density-dependent regulation associated with territoriality (Hairston 1983a, 1987, H...The Southern Gray-cheeked Salamander has a relatively large range compared to the ranges of many member of the P. jordani complex. It is common in most areas of its range and seems secure at p...S5G4